HMSHost to acquire convenience retailer Stellar Partners

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Restaurateur HMSHost, a subsidiary of catering firm Autogrill Group, has reached an agreement to buy US-based airport retailer Stellar Partners, in a move that will expand the group’s offering to include convenience retailing.

Once finalized in late 2016, the agreement will make Stellar Partners a wholly-owned subsidiary of HMSHost, retaining its managerial autonomy under the direction of Susan Stackhouse, the current president and CEO, and Ramon Bosquez, senior vice president and chief operating officer.

Stellar Partners currently operates 38 points of sale in 10 US airports, including Tampa, Orlando, Philadelphia, Miami, San Diego and Washington Dulles international airports, with estimated annual sales of US$38m and an earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) margin of 11%.

Stellar Partners was established approximately 30 years ago when Stackhouse bought the point of sale she was managing at Tampa International Airport in Florida. The company manages various proprietary brands, including Stellar News and Stellar Books.

Steve Johnson, president and CEO, HMSHost, said, “The imminent entry to our group of Stellar Partners, considered one of the best small size airport convenience retail operators, is a source of great satisfaction to us. I’ve known Susan Stackhouse and Ramon Bosquez for many years and I’ll be happy to work with them to grow Stellar in North American airports and strengthen HMSHost’s position in US airport convenience retailing, a market of great potential with sales estimated at around US$1.5bn.”

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Helen has worked for UKi Media & Events for nearly a decade. She joined the company as assistant editor on Passenger Terminal World and since progressed to become editor of five publications, covering everything from aviation, logistics and e-commerce to meteorology. She has a love for travel and property and has redeveloped three houses in three years. When she’s not editing magazines, she’s running around after her two boys and their partner in crime, Pete the pug.

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